"Tri Continental Live" - 2002
1. Voodoo King
2. Grace 9'38
3. MBO 5'55
4. Sail On 1'57
5. Rollin' and Tumblin' 6'37
6. Ole Buffalo 6'11
7. Worried Man 5'46
8. Waitin 5'15
9. Fiderana 6'16
1. Scarecrow Murders 8'29
2. Heart and Soul 8'25
3. Time Takes Time 6'24
4. Burning Candles 6'01
5. Dance and Celebrate 8'49
6. Precious Love 7'12
7. The House / Long Gone Blues 14'22
"Pretty brilliant...” Jazzthetik
"Blues like a kaleidoscope...” TAZ
"Bourne, Quitzau and Madagascar Slim... convey a joy of playing and harmony in a fresh and excitingly uncommercial way... a totally original piece of work.” STEREO
"The magic of musical communication...” WOM JOURNAL
"A perfect blend of acoustic and electric guitars, lots of wonderful runs across the fretboard and tasteful slide playing...” AKUSTIKGITARRE
These are just a few of the many postive media voices commenting on the debut release of TRI-CONTINENTAL, an album that came out on TRADITION & MODERNE in the fall of 2000 (see info). This was an album that featured an astounding amount of musical intensity and atmosphere. It was an album that took many Europeans by surprise. Especially since none of the three Canadian artists involved was known in Europe outside a small circle of roots music aficionados. The latter knew about the acclaimed solo work of Lester Quitzau, Bill Bourne and Madagascar Slim. But the majority of these JUNO-nominated and awarded Canadian releases were almost impossible to get a hold of outside of Canada.
This special debut CD by TRI-CONTINENTAL still remains a remarkable production that radiates a lot of magnetism and inspiration. Therefore, it didn’t come as a surprise that the excitement level was quite high, when in late 2000 the three players decided to present their music live for European audiences. A club tour was hastily booked. Considering the fact that the album had just come out a few weeks before the tour, it turned out to be a fine success for the group. But in this special "market segment” of folk/blues/roots/worldmusic, commercial success on a larger scale apparently does not happen with the power PR of the pop world. Careers in roots music are mostly long-term projects and artistic quality may translate into sales in the long run. And so everyone involved was glad these three guys had decided to trade in the Canadian winter for the Euro version of bad weather on short notice – at least for a number of weeks.
On December 11th, 2000 the stage was set in Bremen for TRI-CONTINENTAL: Bill Bourne, Lester Quitzau and Madagascar Slim. With the popular Moments club as location, things apparently could not go wrong. A little more than one year later, TRADITION & MODERNE takes you back to this night in Bremen with TRI-CONTINENTAL LIVE, a 2 CD-release that documents this particular concert. It turned out to be an evening that unanimously was considered an intense and thrilling experience by both the audience and the local media.
Those who have fallen in love with the debut release of TRI-CONTINENTAL will find wonderful new versions of dear songs on this double-disc release, next to material the three had previously used for their solo work only. For instance, one can groove along to Madagascar Slim’s malegassy rhythms ("MBO”, "Fiderana”) and in the process get further proof how this delightful player manages to fuse the malegassy guitar of D’Gary with the electric blues fire of Jimi Hendrix. Lester Quitzau’s "Precious Love” and "Waiting” are examples of his own special touch when it comes to delivering a contemporary vision of blues and roots music. Quitzau also shines as a fine interpreter of Muddy Waters with his medley of "Honey Bee/Rolling & Tumbling”. Singer, songwriter, and guitar-player Bill Bourne is a charismastic presence, too. Relying on his top-hat-and-tailcoat "scarecrow” outfit for visual presence, the Bourne songbook provides a fair number of songs and he delivers them with great authority. But, just like the other two, the man from the Canadian prairies is a fine team-player in this context with a succinctly democratic orientation.
Bourne also follows the tradition of the late John Lee Hooker by using his (shoeless) feet in order to create a nice rhythm on a wooden tap-board. The groove always has to be right with TRI-CONTINENTAL. And Lester Quitzau is another "groovemeister” (Bill Bourne) who never fails to come up with a tasty lick and whose finely balanced electric slide playing shows a great sense for the aesthetics of sound and space. There really are no real weak points in the musical concept of TRI-CONTINENTAL. They are very different people, but as soon as they start playing in this special context, a new and unified identity is being created with just one collective breath going through these songs, ballads and blues. Everything is fuelled by a great love of playing.
Audiences were easily won over wherever the group performed and a knack for improvisation added to the success of this group from the still underrated Canadian scene.In the end, it didn’t really matter whose songs were being played or who took the best solo. The musical vibe of TRI-CONTINENTAL is a very democratic one and based on a truly collective spirit. This quality takes you in and doesn’t let go. And it’s this positive and so very human aura of the music that makes listenting to TRI-CONTINENTAL LIVE a rewarding experience. You become a witness to the creative process. The music is real and authentic with a lot of heart and no sense of articifial emotion.
TRI-CONTINENTAL LIVE is one of those rare live documents you don’t want to miss as soon as you have discovered it. An invitation to a great night out with three fine singers and guitar-players from Canada who have created a truly magical sound. Out now on TRADITION & MODERNE.
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